Tuesday, December 27, 2011

a long december

I sure have been neglecting this blog thing lately... This holiday season has been good to me. Thanksgiving was great, Christmas was a good one, and there was a much-needed trip to Seattle (and Vancouver!) in between that went by way too quickly. Gosh I love it up there.

Now I have about 10 days off work and my good friend Annie is coming to visit on Thursday for a whole week! LA! New Year's! Disneyland? Beach! Sunshine! Adventures abound!

Here are some pictures from the last month or so. Most are taken on my new-ish iPhone which I am still OBSESSED with. Yep, I drank the kool-aid.

My cute little gingerbread house back when I finished it on Thanksgiving. Now it's all melty...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

la sortie

Sub City Paris from Redglass Pictures on Vimeo.

"Three years ago in Paris I got out of a "metro" train at La Concorde, and saw suddenly a beautiful face... I could not find any words that seemed to me worthy, or as lovely as that sudden emotion."

This video is so lovely. I feel Paris tugging me back when I see videos like this, or read articles in my mom's travel magazines about the best pâtisseries in the city, or think of what I was doing a year ago on this day.

T'inquiète pas, je reviendrai un jour. Attends-moi.

The part showing Saint-Paul... ♥ That stop and Concorde will always be a bit more special for me.

I wonder if every lover of Paris has their own favorite metro stop...


It's officially autumn! I couldn't be happier. I'm currently wrapped up in my throw blanket and comfy slippers, watching college football with my mom, drinking coffee, and looking at grad school program websites. 

It rained quite a bit on Wednesday, which made our new roof look absolutely stunning. The new cedar shingles look really nice all the time, but the water made them turn almost bright red. I love my little cottage house!

On Wednesday I also decided to do some baking. I found this recipe for pumpkin nutella muffins on Pinterest about a week ago and I hadn't been able to stop thinking about it. I think the self-frosting aspect was what intrigued me... You just spread some nutella on the batter before you bake them and then they poof up and come out of the oven perfectly frosted with warm gooey nutella! Brilliant!

Gotta give credit where credit is due - the amazing original recipe is here.

Would you just look that orange pumpkin-y goodness? It must be fall.

Nutella jars are plastic in the US, apparently. Pshh.

Mini muffins, too!

Really tasty with coffee. I got that mug at Target, of course.

I hadn't actually eaten any nutella since I was in France, so having that first bite was a bit nostalgic. I didn't know how the combination of chocolate/hazelnut/pumpkin would turn out, but it really worked. I had a work meeting the next morning so I brought a bunch and they were a hit!

It's really nice to be home and have a fully functioning kitchen. Maybe I'll start doing recipe posts? :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

settling back at home

Hello blog. Long time no post. Lately I've been trying to study for the GRE and one of my giant review books had a tip that one should write as much as possible prior to the exam, just to get into the swing of writing. So! Time for a little update on my life back home.

It's been two and a half months since I got home from France. A lot has happened in that time... including the unfortunate loss of my passport. It's been missing for almost 2 months now. Funny thing is, I have this sneaking suspicion that someone may have stolen it... I won't go into why I think that but the details of its disappearance are kind of weird. Oh well. I finally called and reported it lost last week, and it's time to go get a new one. I'm mostly just upset that I've lost such a good souvenir of all my travels in the last 6 years. Oh well, maybe it will turn up someday...

Also, I got a job! It's only part-time, but it's pretty much perfect for me. I'm working in the Special Collections and Archives department at a university nearby and I absolutely love it. I mostly handle thesis and dissertation submissions and work on the reference desk. I'm not doing much actual work with the archival material, but I'm learning a lot about the collections and I can go back into the stacks and look at any book or photograph or pamphlet I want. Most of the material they have has to do with Orange County history, which is particularly interesting to me. I want to learn all about where I grew up, and where my father grew up...

When I first got home from France, I panicked. I had no idea what to do next with my life. I had just gone on this grand adventure, and had decided not to prolong that adventure another year, but then I was just left sitting here thinking "ok, now what?". However! This job, as new and as small as it is right now, has really given me some direction. I've decided I'm going to apply for graduate school next fall, for admission in fall 2013, for a Masters in Library/Information Science program with a specialization in Archives and Records Management. I'm not applying for another year so I have some time to really think about it and decide where I want to apply. Some of the best-ranked schools are University of Michigan, University of Pittsburgh, UT Austin, and UNC Chapel Hill. I'd really like to go to one of those schools if I get in, so it looks like I'll be having another big adventure in a couple of years! I can't wait to go away to school again!

So right now I'm studying for the GRE, which i'm taking in 22 days (oh dear). I bought 3 giant review books and I've gotten through one of them so far. It actually feels kind of nice to be studying again... dare I say I missed it? Just a little bit?

Honestly, I couldn't ask for a more smooth-sailing time in my life right now. I'm loving being at home, my parents are glad I'm back, everyone's happy. The only thing that is difficult at times is trying to settle in to a place where I haven't really lived in 6 years. What does a 24-year-old do for fun in Orange County? Luckily I've been reconnecting with old friends and trying to meet as many new people as I can. It's amazing to see old friends whom I haven't seen in ages. Just last night I ran into a friend I haven't seen since 8th grade (that's 10 years ago!) and we immediately recognized each other and spent the entire night catching up over beers. There's been a surprise or two as well... Good surprises, of course.

I don't see myself living in Orange County long term, but I mean, after 6 years of being under the clouds and rain, the sunshine every day is oh so very nice. I'm actually looking forward to a really mild fall and winter... color-changing leaves and snow be damned! At least for this year.

And to end this post, I'd just like to show a picture I took on a walk around my neighborhood last night. I think it sums it all up.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Pétanque is one of those quintessentially French things to me... like croissants or formules or apéro or unnecessary paperwork. I've never really had it explained to me... but near the end of my stay in France I saw a few games here and there, once the weather started to get nice.

I came across this game on my last day in Paris, in the Jardin du Luxembourg. The men (always men) each had their own metal engraved boules, which they take turns throwing. The goal is to get your metal ball closest to the little yellow jack.

Another one going one over there...

I must have sat there for a good 20 minutes, watching them walk back and forth, round after round. Sometimes snapping a picture or two. There was something really satisfying about sitting close to the game; you could feel the ground rumble a little bit when the ball hit the ground with a loud thump. And I loved the clicking sound when the ball hit another one, nudging another player's boule out of his spot.

The stance is very important. Two feet solid on the ground. Inside the little circle. Concentrate. Throw underhanded, with your hand over the ball.

After the round is over, they collect their boules with these neat little magnets on the end of strings.

This guy was my favorite. You could tell he knew everyone sitting around watching. And I loved the guy with the book. After a particularly good throw, he would loudly exclaim ohhh, law law law lawwww. (I think that is my favorite French phrase. People actually use it for everything. And it's not "ooou la la!" like a flirty American girl trying to be French, it's a serious and often exasperated "oh law lawww." Love it.)

Ok actually you know what, it was hard to pick favorites at this match. I loved the lady doing her knitting, too. Watching her men and their little jeu. Oh, la la.

Et voilà, a little piece of my last day in France. More to come.

Friday, June 10, 2011

dans le sud

This is my last day in the south of France. Nice and Marseille have been lovely... last night I met some fellow travelers from Orange County (small world!) and a Norwegian girl I met in Nice and we went to go see a free concert at the Vieux Port in Marseille. It was one of those perfect summer nights that I will remember forever.

I have a feeling the theme of this week will continue to be tearful goodbyes. I need to remember that it's not adieu, just au revoir. To all the people I've met here and to France in general.

After all, I do have a return trip booked in September... I made it just to save money (a round trip was a better deal and I still hadn't [haven't?] decided if I'm coming back for another year) and I'll probably just let it go.. or try to save it for later... but maybe a little trip wouldn't be the worst idea ever. Anyone up to join me? :)

It will be nice to be home. It will it will it will.